Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tech Tools and Apps for Stroke Survivors

May is the month for stroke awareness across the United States, an important time for all stroke survivors and concerned parties. The tech world has not been left behind in this important period through special tools and apps ideal for stroke survivors. Stroke survivors are found in different areas, such as Beau Biden, the Vice President’s son, famous actor Kirk Douglas, Dick Clark and Tedy Bruschi, a linebacker with the New England Patriots who suffered a stroke exactly ten days after a Super Bowl triumph. At that time, Bruschi was only 31 years of age and very fit and thought strokes only affect the elderly. However, the reality as he came to realize, is that anyone can get it. 

The realm of healthcare technology has not left stroke survivors without a way out. One of these beautiful tech tools is an app that works on different smartphones and ideal for all with stroke issues. This new app is vSOS, activated by pressing its icon on a smartphone and calls just to see if you require any help. In case there is no answer, it has the ability to know the location of the victim via GPS technology, sending emergency aid. It was develop by Jay Elliot, an author and the founder of Nuvel. The most important part of the vSOS app is that people with stroke and living alone or single are covered by its huge number of applications. 

Another iPad app that comes handy for stroke victims as well as autistic kids is AutoVerbal, allowing patients devoid of speech to communicate. For Autism cases, Grace App comes handy for easier communication via pictures, the main reason why it was awarded the World Summit Award for Mobile applications. Special needs children, autistic mostly, are able to communicate effectively through sentence building using images relevant to them.  

Doctot Stroke is another suite widely in use to administer assessment scales clinically related to victims of stroke. The tool gives medical practitioners a very efficient and easy to use tech development to measure stroke survivors’ crucial functions. Every assessment scale comes in wizard format to allow the user to navigate with ease across the components of interview and to record the survivor’s status.  The scale total is automatically generated by the tool. Through the input of the user, the score is categorized. Each scale comes with a section for more information in case a user wants more details. There is a help section as well for better usage of the stroke assessment tool. 

Apps are increasingly becoming the new trend in the health industry and many users agree. 90 percent of those using mobile health apps, according to CHIC (Consumer Health Information Corporation), use apps to retrieve information adequately. According to the study, people are not turning to the Smartphone apps because they are trendy and innovative, but after convenience and simplicity in carrying out tasks related to health, while others do it for feedback reasons. 

According to CHIC, users are after apps that would go beyond tracking and managing their health but also have the ability to analyze information while giving feedback.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Remote Medical Diagnosis New Apps

New apps are helping doctors in their everyday rounds, mostly to monitor their patients remotely through their smartphones. The apps have redefined house calls as the trend in mobile technology takes a creative shape. Two apps recently released are heading the transformation; Mobile MIM by MIM Software and Cardiology by Airstrip Technologies. The apps show how doctors can use phones to get important information about their patients on the go, to the effect of tracking heart scans, MRIs and much more. 

Health Apps Crucial in Medical Circle
 A Manhattan Research in 2010 stated that 72 percent of medical practitioners own smartphones, perhaps the instigation to make apps specific to their profession. Apple iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices have 3,900 and more apps available for physicians, as observed by MobiHealthNews. A number of the apps are offering such functions as information for reference on drug prescription or ability to turn speech into text rather than take notes about patients. Remote monitoring apps however, are the interesting and very important apps physicians are finding hard to live without. 

 For instance, Mobile MIM enables physicians to carry out remote medical diagnosis after viewing MRI., CT and PET scans on iPad, iPhones or iPod Touch. The app is a crowning development for technology, after making headlines at the start of the year after its famous and well-covered FDA approval, the first application app for radiology to do so. It is a free app but the transmission and storage of data is charged by MIM Software. Radiologists are particularly targeted by the app, enabling them to make notes and measures on areas of specialization while image sharing with medical experts.

In a hospital, downloading sent images from a PC takes about twenty minutes but with the app, the process takes less than two minutes, two at most. Specialists have stated that they are able to zoom easily in and out, as well as measuring different things, such as a tumor’s size.

Cardiology app by AirStrip Technologies enables doctors to look at cardiac information in real-time. This is known as EKG, apart from the software firm’s other apps that monitor the vital signs of a patient and fetal health. An AirStrip server encrypts and compresses the data after receiving information. It is then transmitted to the Smartphone handset of the physician. After a hospital has bought the service and system, the app is then provided free. 

Currently, after a patient has been diagnosed with chest pains in the examination room, an EKG is performed on them but the opinion of a cardiologist is needed for the next step. Thus, EKG copies are transmitted via scanned copies or fax to cardiologists. The images are usually very poor in quality and in case they are zoomed in, they become blurred. However, Cardiology the app avails accurate and rapid visuals to cardiologists on the heart condition of the patient. 

Results of the EKG are sent right from the ambulance as the patient is on the way to hospital, to give cardiologists the time to decide on the procedure and reduce confusion associated with arrival.